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Leica Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2 is the New Soft Focus Lens for the Leica M-System: To Produce Dreamlike, Romantic Look & Bokeh and Unique Effects with Light

Leica Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2
Leica Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2

The following video presents Leica Lenses (English) from Leica Camera on Vimeo:
Every Leica lens is hand-crafted and goes through meticulous manufacturing processes to uphold the quality and precision that Leica defines and customers have come to expect. In the age where technology almost inevitably means mass manufacturing, Leica products are still made with exacting precision by the hands of highly-trained technicians.

This video gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the craftsmanship and making of Leica lenses in the production facilities of Leica Camera AG.

Leica just announced the new Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2 lens for the Leica M-System.

Leica Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2: Image Courtesy of Leica

Leica Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2: Image Courtesy of Leica

Leica: Original Thambar lens (left), new Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2 (right)

Leica: Original Thambar lens (left), new Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2 (right)

  • “Much like the Summaron-M 28mm f/5.6 re-issue last year, the Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2 (above, right) features a similar optical design to the original Thambar (above, left), which was produced from 1930-1939, but with modern construction and lens coatings (and it’s 6-bit coded too!).”
Lens mount – Leica M quick-change bayonet with 6 bit lens identification bar code for digital M models:
The 6 bit lens identification bar code (8) situated on the bayonet flange enables the digital Leica M models to identify the attached type of lens. This information is utilized by the camera to optimize exposure and image data.
Leica Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2: Image Courtesy of Leica

Leica Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2: Image Courtesy of Leica

The key highlights of the Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2 include:

  • Optical design similar to the original Thambar-M 9 cm f/2.2.
  • Lens elements are now single-coated to protect the glass from the elements and corrosion.
Leica Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2: Image Courtesy of Leica

Leica Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2: Image Courtesy of Leica

  • Ensures the same, distinctive dreamy, soft focus look and unmistakable bokeh.
Leica Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2: Image Courtesy of Leica

Leica Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2: Image Courtesy of Leica

  • Provides unmistakable imaging signature which cannot be reproduced by other lenses or digital processing.
Leica Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2: Image Courtesy of Leica

Leica Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2: Image Courtesy of Leica

  • Same proportions as original lens, with black paint finish and red and white aperture scales. Red scale applies when the included center spot filter is in place, for a more dramatic soft focus effect. When working without the center spot filter, the white aperture scale is used.
Leica Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2: Components and Materials, Which are Used in its Assembly: Image Courtesy of Leica

Leica Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2: Components and Materials, Which are Used in its Assembly: Image Courtesy of Leica

  • Meticulously crafted to the highest quality standards, with a primary focus on high-grade materials and durability.
Leica Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2 (left to right): Center spot glass filter with metal rim, metal lens cap, and metal lens hood

Leica Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2 (left to right): Center spot glass filter with metal rim, metal lens cap, and metal lens hood

  • Made in Germany, with a delivery scope that includes: metal lens hood, center spot glass filter with metal rim, metal lens cap and a hard leather case in vintage brown color – similar to the original.
Leica Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2: Hard leather case in vintage brown color

Leica Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2: Hard leather case in vintage brown color

Tech Specs

Angle of View (for 35mm – diagonal, horizontal, vertical)
approx. 27°, 23°, 15°
Number of lenses/groups 4 / 3
Position of entrance pupil 49.6mm (in the direction of light incidence behind the bayonet fitting contact area)
Focusing Range
1 meter to infinity
Focusing Scale Meters
Smallest object field / Biggest Scale
approx. 215×322 mm/1:9.0 (for 35 mm: 24×36 mm)
Aperture Setting No detent positions
Aperture Range 2.2 – 2.6 or 9 – 25 (values in white: for use with the associated center spot filter)/2.3 – 6.3 (values in red: for use without the associated center spot filter)
Bayonet Fitting
Leica M quick-change bayonet with 6 bit lens identification bar code for digital M models
Finish Black lacquered (Distance scale: silver)
Filter mount / Lens Hood
Internal thread for screw-on filter E49, center spot filter and push-on lens hood in the scope of delivery
Dimension and weight:
Length 90/110mm (with/without lens hood)
Largest diameter approx. 57mm (without lens hood)
Weight approx. 500 grams

PRESS RELEASE

10/17/2017

Leica Camera AG presents a modern renaissance of the classic lens – the Leica Thambar-M 1:2.2/90

A legend reborn: following the Leica Summaron-M 1:5.6/28, Leica Camera AG has further expanded its lens portfolio with the Thambar-M 1:2.2/90, the modern renaissance of another classic lens. Just like its namesake from 1935, the contemporary incarnation of the lens is distinguished by its characteristic soft-focus effect and unmistakeable bokeh. Its focal length of 90 mm is suitable for photography in a multitude of scenarios and is as good as predestined for capturing portraits with a uniquely aesthetic atmosphere that cannot be reproduced in digital postprocessing. The new Thambar-M is thus an exciting addition to the existing Leica M lens portfolio and brings photographers entirely new possibilities for creative composition.

The optical design of its ancestor remains almost unchanged in the new Thambar-M 1:2.2/90. It has therefore also inherited the characteristic properties of its predecessor. The only difference is that the four elements in three groups that make up the design have now been single-coated to protect the glass against environmental influences and surface corrosion. The 20 blades of its iris deliver a unique bokeh with perfectly round rendition of point light sources.

The soft look of the Thambar is the result of intentionally accepted under-correction of spherical aberration. This under-correction increases towards the edges of the optical system with the consequence that not only the depth of focus, but also the degree of softening can be precisely controlled by means of the stepless aperture setting. The effect is more pronounced as apertures increase, and is continually reduced as the lens is stopped down to smaller apertures.

The design of the original lens has been almost completely preserved in today’s Thambar-M 1:2.2/90. The black paint finish, the proportions of the lens and its aperture engravings in red and white correspond to the appearance of the original. In addition to this, slight modifications have been made that bring the lens into line with the current, minimalist design of modern M-Lenses. These include the knurling, the lettering and scales and the specific use of sharp edges and bevelling that underline the precision of the lens design.

‘The name Thambar has always been preceded by the adjective ‘legendary’ – rightly so. It portrays people with a wonderful aura, in a romantic way – but landscapes too are raised to a higher, incomparably aesthetic plane. The addition of a new incarnation of this classic lens to our selection of vintage lenses was one of our greatest wishes – to my great delight, this wish has now been fulfilled.’ emphasises Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, majority shareholder and chairman of the supervisory board of Leica Camera AG.

As is the case with all Leica lenses, the Leica Thambar-M 1:2.2/90 is also manufactured in strict compliance with the most stringent quality criteria. The use of only the best materials in its construction guarantee the familiar long working life of all Leica lenses. As was the case with the original lens, the lens hood, the ring of the centre-spot filter and both front and rear lens caps are made of metal. Even smallest details, like the felt lining of the lens hood and the front cap, contribute to the exceptional perceived quality of this lens. The design of the rigid lens keeper in ‘Vintage Brown’ leather is identical to that of the original from 80 years ago in almost every respect and, as in the past, the centre-spot filter can be safely and conveniently stowed away in its lid.

The Leica Thambar-M 1:2.2/90 will be on sale from mid-November 2017.


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